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Literature / Junie B. Jones

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Junie B. Jones is a series of books aimed at elementary school audiences, written by Barbara Park. The "B." stands for "Beatrice," but she doesn't like Beatrice, she just likes B., and that's all. The stories are told in the first person by Junie B. herself, and all of the stories in the original series also include a brief letter at the end by Barbara Park, with illustrations by Denise Brunkus.

Junie B. was originally conceived as a character that was Not Allowed to Grow Up, but Barbara Park changed her mind on this matter and "graduated" Junie B. to first grade, with the latter books in the series released under the banner "Junie B., First Grader." There were a total of 27 books in the series, 17 in the original line and 10 in the "Junie B., First Grader" series, as well as a couple of supplementary titles. These were released approximately once a year until 2007.


No new releases were seen after Junie B., First Grader: Dumb Bunny, and it was assumed that the series had ended, until Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff) was announced for and later released in August 2012. It was later revealed that Park had suffered a long battle with ovarian cancer and she passed away in November 2013, possibly putting an end to the idea of anymore new releases in the series.

The Junie B. Jones series made ALA's list of the top 100 challenged books or books series from 2000-2009, related to complaints regarding the social values taught by the books and that Junie B. Jones is a poor role model, due to her poor spelling & grammar and mouthiness. This series has spawned multiple stage shows by TheatreWorks USA.

Junie B. Jones celebrated her 20th anniversary in 2012 and a full-color anniversary edition of the first book in the series, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, was released in April 2012, with bonus material.


Junie B. My Valentime was released posthumously on December 24, 2013 and is described as being 30 full-color cardstock valentines, 2 pages of stickers, and 9 pages of Junie B. musings on Valentine's Day.

In 2015, all of the books in the series were reissued in a new paperback format with a unified design across all of the covers and the "Junie B. First Grader" books issued under of the banner of simply "Junie B. Jones."

Junie B Jones and her books contain examples of the following:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: In Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket, Junie B. is hot-and-bothered about an upcoming school field trip to a farm because she's scared of ponies. Reason? An unscrupulous babysitter let her watch a cable television program titled When Ponies Attack. Junie B.'s mother is not amused and wishes she would get over it, but when the father hears the title of the program covers his face, then bursts out in loud hoots of laughter, leading the mother to sarcastically comment that he's being a huge help. He ducks out of the room for what Junie B. calls a "time-out" and when he comes back apologizes to her, saying the show she saw was so ridiculous, he couldn't help it.
  • An Aesop: To some extent, some of the books have a lesson from time to time. Whether Junie B takes them to heart has mixed results.
    • "Junie B Jones and some Sneaky Peeky Spying": Nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, even grown ups. Also, teachers are people too. And mind your own business.
    • "Junie B Jones is not a Crook": Stealing is stealing, no matter how much you want something that isn't yours.
    • "Junie B Jones is a Party Animal": Living rich and fancy is not all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes, it's best to be grateful for the simple joys in one's life.
    • "Junie B Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy": Some skills you can't just learn overnight, it takes 'years and years and years' of practice. ...Unfortunately, Junie B doesn't quite learn her lesson and still makes a grab for some safety scissors.
    • "Junie B Jones Cheater Pants": Cheaters Never Prosper. The whole reason one should never cheat is so teachers can trust their students.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The stage show of Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, P.S.: So Does May includes material from Shipwrecked! presented in flashback form. It also includes a few other small additional scenes, such as a fantasy sequence of Junie B. imagining herself unwrapping and squeezing a giant a Squeez-a-Burp as her classmates and Mr. Scary cheer her on and Also sprach Zarathustra plays.
  • Adapted Out: Junie B.'s little brother Ollie is mentioned in the stage show production of Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, P.S.: So Does May, but not actually seen. Likely true for the productions of other titles from the series as well. This is most likely because all of the children are played by real kids and it would be more trouble than it's worth for a production of this type to try to cast a kid that young.
  • Agony of the Feet: Happens to Junie B.'s toe in Junie B., First Grader: One Man Band, when she kicks her mother's watering can that has a picture of a cow. Her sore toe then became a negative Chekhov's Gun during the story.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: Inverted. Junie B. Jones is scared to death of ponies because her babysitter let her watch a reality show on TV called When Ponies Attack.
  • Aloha, Hawaii!: Junie B., First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha!.
  • Alpha Bitch:
    • Lucille switches between a mean popular girl and a good friend. Oftentimes she can be very haughty and bratty, but the rest of the time she shows that she is a genuinely good friend. She becomes more Alpha Bitchy in first grade, though.
    • May takes her place by the time Junie B. reaches 1st grade.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Baby Ollie, to Junie B.
  • Are We There Yet?: In Beauty Shop Guy, Junie B. asks her dad "Are we there yet? Why aren't we there?" as they travel to the barbershop for her dad to get a haircut. It's kind of justified in this case, though, as Junie B. is confused because they're not going to their normal barber shop, but instead a beauty shop that was recommended to her father by one of his friends.
  • Berserk Button: Junie B.'s is when anyone refers to her as simply "Junie," and does not include the "B." To her irritation, May keeps pressing this particular button over and over and over.
  • Black Best Friend: Grace.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Lucille (blonde), Grace (brunette) and Junie B (redhead).
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Junie B. some of the time.
    • May.
  • Buffy Speak: A more childish version. Really, "Junie Speak" could be its own trope.
  • The Bully: That meanie Jim.
    • It is revealed in Mushy Gushy Valentine that he is only bullying her because he has a crush on her.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: When Junie B. is upset and crying because her white kindergarten graduation dress is covered in grape juice stains, of all people, it is that meanie Jim who gets everyone in the class to cover their own dresses in stains to make her feel better.
  • Catchphrase: Junie B. uses and reuses various phrases during the books. A LOT OF THEM.
    "My name is Junie B. Jones. The "B" stands for Beatrice. Except, I don't like Beatrice. I just like "B" and that's all." (All of the books open with this line.)
    "Wowie wow wow!"
    "Hurray! Hurray!"
    "That is a hoot, I tell you!"
    "(name/pronoun) am/is a lucky duck."
    "I hearded that (name/pronoun) is easier than my math!"
    "Hello. How are you today? I am fine." (When she gets in trouble)
    "HEY! WHO TURNED OUT THE LIGHTS?" (When she didn't see something)
    "My teacher's name is Mrs. She has another name, too. But I just like Mrs. and that's all." (in all of the kindergarten books)
    "I am not even scared of him, hardly." (When referring to her first grade teacher, Mr. Scary.)
    "The end." (when she's finished telling her stories to other characters or telling the truth)
    "X looked up at the ceiling. I looked up there too. But I didn't see anything." (In reference to when adults roll their eyes at someone)
    "Missy's my name when I'm in trouble."
    "(Varies) and I MEAN it!"
    "(Varies) And she (Grandma Helen Miller) said don't call her Helen."
    "Yeah, only..."
    "Plus also..."
    "Here's the problem..." (when she doesn't like something)
    "On account of..."
    "Dumb Bunny" (mostly mentioned in Junie B., First Grader: Dumb Bunny)
    "She forgot my B again!" (when others don't call her Junie B.)
    "Boom.....Do the math"
    "That Grace" (instead of just Grace)
    "Speedy quick"
    "Only too bad for _____, because..."
    "Whoa! Wait! Hold the phone!"
    "Except not (actually) (name)"
    "CALL 911 CALL 911!!" (When in shock or scared)
    "After that......"
    "How did you do that Maxine. How did you do that" (Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy)
    "Then Mommy/Daddy said I'm not allowed to (do X) anymore. Only I never even heard of that dumb rule."
  • Censorship by Spelling: In Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, Junie B's mother looks at her father and says "I think someone is s-l-e-e-p-y." Junie B. tells her that she's a grown-up lady and she knows how to spell. "And so I am not one bit slippery. So there."
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Junie B. is rather... odd, even for a girl her age. Lampshaded by her grandmother, who says that she's a strange child after one of Junie B.'s comments.
  • Children Are Innocent: Junie B., while bratty, is naive and trusting.
  • Christmas Episode: Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells (P.S.: So Does May).
  • Companion Cube: Junie B.'s toys, including Phillip Johnny Bob (her stuffed elephant), Ruth and Larry (her Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls), and Teddy (her teddy bear), although she seems to be convinced that they're sentient.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Junie B. OWNED this one.
  • Demoted to Extra: Lucille and Grace starting from the same book mentioned above.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Juniper Beatrice Jones.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Junie Jones".
  • Everything's Better with Cows: Ollie saying "moo" countless times in the first grade books. Especially in BOO...and I MEAN It!, where he even dresses as a cow for Halloween, which is funny to Junie B. Also, the picture on the watering can that Junie B. kicks in One Man Band.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Junie B. and Jim from Mushy Gushy Valentime onward, and later, Junie B. and May briefly at the end of Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells (P.S.: So Does May).
  • First Day of School Episode:
    • "Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus" has Junie B.'s first day of kindergarten.
    • "Junie B., First Grader: At Last!" has Junie B.'s first day of Grade 1.
  • First-Name Basis: "Grandma Miller said not to call her 'Helen'." In fact, Junie B. has placed herself on a first name basis with her grandmother, grandfather and at least a couple of the adults at school, though they always tell her not to.
  • 555: "Its name is 555-5555. It's hard to remember, because I keep forgetting the 5."
  • Full-Name Basis: Junie B. always refers to Paulie Allen Puffer and Bobbi Jean Piper by their full names.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Subverted; most of the adults often say Junie B.'s full name whenever they get annoyed with her, however they use "B." instead of "Beatrice".
  • Gag Haircut: In Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy, Junie B. does this to herself, her "talking" bunny slippers, and even her dog Tickle while she's playing with scissors and pretending to be a beauty shop lady. As a result, her hair ends up looking like a mess, making her extremely disappointed. Afterwards, her parents take her to the beauty shop barber to have her hair cut short in the end, making her happy again.
  • Genki Girl: Junie B. Jones. This is sometimes lampshaded by the characters, particularly Junie B.'s teachers.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "Junie B. Jones is (Almost) a Flower Girl," Junie B.'s Aunt is named Flo.
  • Grammar Nazis: Some characters, especially Junie B.'s teachers, are shown to be these towards Junie B.
  • Good Counterpart: Jim serves as this to May, as he acts like an uncaring bully towards Junie B. for the most part, but was later shown to be a jerk with a heart of gold. While May on the other hand is simply mean and selfish and that's it. And nothing (and we truly mean NOTHING) can change actually her.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: José, being bilingual, sometimes drops Spanish words into the conversation. He says that he sometimes forgets whether he's speaking English or Spanish.
  • Halloween Episode: Junie B., First Grader: BOO...and I MEAN It! has Junie B. trying to prepare for and deal with Halloween after having been told a scary set of Little Known Facts by Paulie Allen Puffer.
  • Head Desk: Junie B.'s father resorts to this after he and her mother try to console Junie B. about not being invited to Jim's birthday party in That Meanie Jim's Birthday and Junie B. says that she's going to move to the "It's a Small World" ride in Disney World.
  • Kick the Dog: May, after Junie B. presents her new glasses to the class for show and tell, cruelly mocked her for them.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Paulie Allen Puffer, who often tells Junie B. stories that can't possibly be true, but she believes them anyway.
  • Literal-Minded: Junie B. sometimes misunderstands metaphors, such as in A Little Monkey Business when she thinks her brother is a real monkey after hearing Grandma Miller use the term when gushing over his cuteness or in That Meanie Jim's Birthday, when Grandma Helen Miller tells her that Jim is trying to "get her goat."
  • Little Known Facts: Paulie Allen Puffer
  • Locked in the Bathroom: In Yucky Blucky Fruitcake, Junie B. locks herself in the bathroom to pretend throwing sponges at her principal at the school's carnival. She actually throws them at the toilet, but then they get stuck in the drain, causing the toilet to flood the bathroom by accident.
  • Long-Running Book Series: First published in 1992 and continued until 2011, with a total of 27 books in the main line and three supplementary books until Barbara Park's death in 2013.
  • Loving Bully: Jim to Junie B, in Mushy Gushy Valentime. Said character says that they say things to the crush because the crush started it.
  • Malicious Misnaming: While Junie is her real name, May purposely calls Junie B. "Junie" without her "B" to upset her.
  • Meaningful Echo: In "Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy", Junie B.'s father makes a point that working at a beauty salon isn't a quick-and-easy skill, but takes "years and years and years" of practice. Later, after Junie B. Jones gives herself a disastrous haircut, a real hair stylist fixes it. When an impressed Junie B. wonders how the stylist could miraculously fix her haircut, the stylist answers "Years of practice". To which Junie B.'s father adds "Years and years and years".
  • Meaningful Name: A few books have established that Junie B. was born in June. This may or may not be why her parents decided to name her "Junie".
  • Meganekko: Junie B. in the first grade series.
    • Averted earlier: Junie B. was terribly worried that she would look nerdy when she got glasses in Junie B., First Grader: At Last! In the end, her new friends supported her and helped her to see that her glasses were actually pretty cool.
    • Also, in the kindergarten series, there's Charlotte.
  • Messy Hair: Junie B. In the special anniversary edition of Stupid Smelly Bus, it was revealed that this was deliberate on the part of the illustrator, who initially drew a much spiffier Junie B. before realizing it didn't suit her character.
  • Monster Clown: Junie B. dresses up as one for Halloween in BOO...and I MEAN It!.
  • Motor Mouth: Junie B. can be really talkative.
  • Mouthy Kid: Junie B. herself.
  • The Musical: The TheaterWorks stage adaptation.
  • Negative Continuity: According to Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School, Junie B.'s mom used to be at a school called Brainerd Elementary in 1st grade between 1983 and 1984, despite the series itself being created in the early 1990s. At least her mother should have been said to be in first grade sometime in the 1960s or 1970s.
  • No Indoor Voice: Junie B, who intends to get loud at times.
  • No Name Given: Junie B.'s kindergarten teacher, literally named "Mrs." (as Junie B. calls her), whose surname was never revealed in the kindergarten series. (She has another name too, but Junie B. just likes "Mrs.," and that's all.) Additionally, her first grade teacher is referred to as "Mr. Scary," which surely can't be his real last name.
    • Or maybe it is. Some teachers in children's series have very unusual names, or allow students to call them by a shortened version or nickname because their real name is hard to pronounce.
  • Noodle Incident: "Walking on cake is the funnest thing I love! 'Cause one time at a picnic, I stepped on my grampa's Little Debbie snack cake with my bare feet. And the creamy filling is very squishing between my toes!"
  • Not So Different: Both Junie B. and May have the same type of stuffed elephant. Furthermore, although they dress up their elephants differently, they play with them in a similar way and make their talk using similar voices. Additionally, Junie B. figures out that May would like a Squeeze-a-Burp as a Secret Santa gift, which is something that'd she'd like too. Though the two state positively that they could never be friends with each other, it does seem like given time and the right circumstances, they could at the very least be frenemies.
  • One of the Boys: Starting from first grade, Junie B. regularly hangs out with Herb, Lennie, Sheldon, and José.
  • Only Sane Man: Grace was the most grounded of the trio (between wacky Junie B. and richie Lucille) in the kindergarten series of the book.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love:
    • In Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl, Junie B. comes into the classroom to find that the other students have colored spots on their graduation gowns so that her grape-juice-and-marker-spotted gown won't stand out. Junie B. declares that she loves her classmates, which causes at least two of the boys to groan about how gross it is.
    • Subverted in the First Grader series. In Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten and Other Thankful Stuff, Sheldon tells the class that he and his family squeeze hands and say three particular words as part of their Thanksgiving tradition. Mr. Scary thinks the words are "I love you"; they're actually "Happy Turkey Day."
  • Playground Song: As you would expect, "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells" in Junie B. First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, P.S.: So Does May.
  • Potty Emergency: Junie B. goes through this in the climax of Stupid Smelly Bus, when she tries to open several bathroom doors at school, only to find them locked. Thus, she rushes to the nurse's office and calls 911 on the phone. When she finally runs out the school exit, a green fire truck, white police car and red ambulance drive up to the parking lot on purpose. Then the janitornote  stops her when this happens, but Junie B. convinces him that she's having an emergency, so he unlocks a girls' bathroom door for her.
  • Reality Ensues: In "Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy", Junie B. learns the hard way that cutting one's own hair (especially with safety scissors) doesn't look quite so fashionable.
  • Rhyme Theme Naming: Junie B. has a pair of twin friends named Camille and Chenille. They invite Junie's other friend Lucille to play with them only because their names rhyme.
  • Rich Bitch: Lucille only some of the time. The rest of the time she's a Spoiled Sweet and legitimately good friend.
  • Santa Claus: Despite her sometimes cynical nature, Junie B. still believes in him and asks him for a Squeez-a-Burp at the end of Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, P.S.: So Does May.
  • School Play: The premise of Junie B., First Grader: Shipwrecked.
  • Secret Santa: Junie B. and her class are assigned to do this in Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells (P.S.: So Does May) and Junie B. is less than thrilled when she is assigned be secret Santa to her nemesis, May.
  • Shout-Out: Though it's entirely possible that it's completely coincidental, in The Stupid Smelly Bus, Junie B. Malapropers that she likes "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Odds. The Wizard Of Odds was an actual, short-lived 70s game show hosted by Alex Trebek.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Junie B. and Jim from Mushy Gushy Valentime onward.
  • Slumber Party: The premise of Junie B. Jones is a Party Animal.
  • Spiky Hair: Lennie spikes his hair with gel. Junie B. thinks it looks like a sculpture.
  • Spraying Drink from Nose: In Junie B. Jones and That Meanie Jim's Birthday, Junie B. and Lucille see chocolate milk come out of Paulie Allen Puffer's nose while he's laughing. Junie B. says she thinks it's called nose milk. Lucille is too disgusted to finish her cake, so Junie B. offers to take it to the trash and then eats it.
  • Teachers out of School: Junie B. goes through this in Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying when she sees her teacher at the grocery store testing out a couple of grapes for quality-check and thinks that she's stealing.
  • Terrified of Germs: Sheldon Potts, to the point where he puts a paper bag over his head, until Mr. Scary tells him that not only will this not help, but is actually likely to just concentrate the germs.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Lucille, who was rather sweet sometimes, and a genuinely good friend in kindergarten, becomes a total jerk in first grade.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Junie B. gives herself on in the book Beauty Shop Guy Thankfully, it gets fixed at the end.
  • Tsundere: Mushy Gushy Valentine reveals that Meanie Jim to be a type A one, after it turns out he was the one who bout Junie B. the valentine signed as being from "your secret admirer".
  • Unmanly Secret: In Beauty Shop Guy, Junie B.'s dad is a bit bothered at having to take Junie B. with him to the beauty shop because he doesn't want anyone to know that he's visiting a beauty shop instead of his normal barbershop. (His friend recommended the beauty shop to him.)
  • Unusual Euphemism: Junie B.'s mispronunciations of words, such as "pasketti" (spaghetti), "bestest" (best), "valentime" (valentine), "splode" (explode), "stomple" (stomp), etc.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Junie B., Lucille, and sometimes Grace in kindergarten.
  • Wedding Episode: The book Junie B. Jones is (Almost) a Flower Girl centers on Junie B.'s aunt's wedding. When Junie B. isn't picked as the flower girl, she has to find another way to make an impression at the wedding.
  • What You Are in the Dark: In "Cheater Pants", Herb lets Junie B. cheat on a test so she can pass. But the next day, neither of them feel good about the act and come clean to their teacher.
  • With Friends Like These...: Lucille dumps Junie as a friend in first grade, but with Grace, the only reason why they don't hang out is because she was put in another class and she sits with someone else on the bus.
  • What You Are in the Dark: In "Junie B. Jones Cheater Pants", Herb lets Junie B. cheat off his paper, to which she does without Mr. Scary even knowing. However, the next day, the two of them feel rotten for having done something dishonest behind their teacher's back and come clean to him.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Junie B. is afraid of roosters (because she thinks "they can peck your head into a nub"), ponies (because she thinks "they can stomple you to the ground and kill you"), and clowns (because she thinks "they are not normal people").


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